'Complete transformation' ahead for MCN as Frain makes his mark

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 9 October 2018
Mark Frain

Media sales house Multi Channel Network (MCN) has revealed a “complete transformation of the company’s structure”, as incoming CEO Mark Frain officially puts his stamp on the business.

Long-serving Frain, who moved into the top job from his chief sales and marketing officer role in July after Anthony Fitzgerald exited, has unveiled a new “customer-centric model”. 

This includes the launch of an 'Advanced Advertising Team' dedicated to help advertisers win in the attention economy – as well as a complete re-brand of the business to follow.

The shake-up will roll out over the coming months across MCN’s Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane offices and integrates its sales functions, repositions its channel partner model and places a stronger focus on advertiser relationships.

The new structure, incorporating several new teams, will be led by a soon-to-be-announced chief sales officer who will work with MCN advertising partners and a chief customer and commercial officer, as MCN looks to create more shared value between channel partners. 

The changes see the launch of an integrated TV and digital 'Agency Sales Group' structured via agency patches, working with an “all-screen focus to provide a more holistic service”.

This group will manage advertising opportunities across MCN’s digital, TV and digital out of home network for each agency and their clients. Within the team there is also a client partnership’s team focused on delivering “deeper, long-term partnerships” for key agency clients, as MCN pushes to “develop partnerships beyond simple spot trading”.

“MCN has a strong track record in breaking new ground and leading the industry, and shaking up our structure is another major step on that journey,” Frain says.

“As MCN enters a new era, we’ve taken the opportunity to take a step back, listen to the needs of our agency, channel and client partners and completely rebuild MCN’s organisational design.”

The revamped and eagerly anticipated move follows an unsettled period which saw Network Ten and MCN end their $600 million ad sales contract, as well as a spate of redundancies.

However, MCN seems to have been working behind the scenes on a shake-up that is set to make the business more agile and efficient.

Frain says the structure MCN has developed provides it with a better, smarter and faster advertising experience, which is critical in today’s media landscape.

“It’s a more holistic approach which equals deeper, long-term premium brand partnerships, plus more efficiencies, so we can operate at the speed of our customer’s business.”

Cut through in the attention economy

The restructure also sees the launch of a dedicated 'Advanced Advertising Team' which is tasked with innovating advertising models and platforms in collaboration with Foxtel and agency partners.

This team sees MCN and Foxtel create better  advertising models to assist with the “battle of the attention economy”.

“By using what we know about our audiences and how they’re engaging with content, we’ll be building new advertising models to help brands experience cut through, plus provide better value for their investment. I’m genuinely excited about its potential to deliver,” Frain says.

Alongside the new Agency Sales Group and Advanced Advertising Team, a 'Brand Partnerships Group' has been devised which is dedicated to supporting MCN's channel power brands. This group will be embedded into the frontline sales structure and will focus on delivering integrated advertising opportunities between channels and advertisers to more closely link content partners with brands.

An internal 'Centralised Trading Group' has also been created to underpin the sales team and provide “a fast and efficient transactional sales service for all MCN assets”. MCN says this will allow market-facing sales groups to solely focus on agency and client engagement. MCN’s TV and digital operations teams will also be integrated into this group.

“It also means MCN can better connect Foxtel’s innovative content brands and channels with advertisers, as well as strengthening how the business works with agency partners,” Frain adds.

“Whilst integrated screen sales sits at the core of the new model, the focus on embedding dedicated client and brand partnership teams into the sales function means MCN can now progress a brief response from ideation through to campaign implementation via the one team.”

MCN represents the advertising interests of Foxtel and Fox Sports, as well as other brands, and is majority owned by News Corp.

Did you catch Frain on the AdNews Power 50? See here.

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